The need for safe blood is universal. Safe blood is critical both for treatments and urgent interventions. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer, with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts, etc.) and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and neonatal care.
But access to safe blood is still a privilege of the few. Most low- and middle-income countries struggle to make safe blood available because donations are low and equipment to test blood is scarce and storage facilities scares. The Department of Haematology/Blood Transfusion in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital has collaborated with Government and well-meaning individuals to mark the Blood Donor Day and also Commission their newly built Blood Donor Center Donated by the Calabar University Medical Association Class 1995! at an event which was used to recognize and confer awards of special recognition to blood donors and distinguished personalities who have in one way or the other supported the success of the above department.
Speaking immediately after the welcome address by the Chief Medical Director of the hospital Prof Ikpeme A. Ikpeme, who was represented by the CMAC Dr Eyong, the Chairman of the occasion Ntufam Senator Sandy Ojang Onor started by thanking the head of the department Dr Obinna Ihenacho for his efforts to achieve so much for the said department as he went further to enumerate the many importance of blood to human stating that no man can survive without blood as the inadequacy of blood in man depicts the beginning of the end for such man.
“I want to appreciate the organizers and management of UCTH for doing so much for this department to get to this level especially for the 1995 graduating set who has successfully built this wonderful edifice. No one can survive without blood as it’s inadequacy signals the end of life. I appreciate our health workers especially the Honorable Commissioner Dr Betta Edu who has stood tall to revitalize the health sector, protect and keep our people safe in this era of COVID-19, she’s indeed an example of beauty with brains and exceptional leadership skills. To those medical doctors who have decided to practice in Nigeria, I sincerely appreciate you as you remain the best doctors in the World. For every blood we donate, we safe life and keep the loved ones of other persons alive this is why I have today offered myself as one of your donors as I call on Individuals and Organizations to keep supporting blood donation as well as Government and NGO.”
On her part, the Health Commissioner who was also a Special Guest of Honor called on cross riverians to see the need to voluntarily donate their blood to save lives. “As we all know, every year on 14 June, Countries around the World celebrate World Blood Donor Day WBDD) ours was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. UCTH, Cross River State Government and other key stakeholders in health sector are using this opportunity to raise awareness for the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, lifesaving gifts of blood. Government cannot do it alone and will need support from all quarters to strengthen the health sector. We commend the CUMSA class of 1995, for building and donating a magnificent Blood Donor Center to UCTH, We sincerely appreciate them and i wish to use this medium to call on Individuals, Groups, Organization, Government and NGOs to support blood donation as this is life saving. I am a blood donor and you too can be one!
Dr Edu after enumerating the many challenges militating the donation of blood while stressing on the numerous importance went ahead to support the Haematology Department of UCTH with a cash donation alongside huge cash donations from the likes of Dr Daniel Chukwudozie; Chairman Dozzy group of companies, Sen Victor Ndoma Egba, Rt Hon. Alex Egbona, Rt Hon. Dr Henry Archibong( House of Rep’s AKS), Hon. Mrs Stella Odey Commissioner LGA and many other dignitaries who were all part of the event. The event ended with the Commissioning of the new Blood Donor Center at the Department of Hematology University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.